There’s something about a B-movie; Hollywood films are so long, and often so involved, that a brisk blast through a familiar genre often hits the spot. Casey Tebo’s spirited low-budget indie film fell victim to piracy over the festive season in the US, but it’s the kind of film that horror fans will put their money down for; amongst the attractions, the presence of the great Bruce Campbell is reason enough to tune in.
Although recent years have seen a backlash against such manic consumer festivities, Black Friday is a date that most of us recognise; the big shopping day before Christmas, with news footage of scrambling shoppers watched with derision by those not in the hunt. Just such a bargain hunt is about to befall a toy store in a Boston All-Mart store on Thanksgiving, but there’s also an additional threat in the form of a zombie apocalypse. Ken (Devon Sawa) and Archie (Michael Jai White) are amongst the put-upon workers, but they’ll have to go from zeros to heroes to escape with their lives. Boss and prissy store manager Jonathan Wexler (Campbell) doesn’t seem like the type to help their cause, but you can never write off Bruce Campbell in any movie, and so it proves here…
Mutating monster parasites are the opposition here, able to easily infect shoppers and turn them into even worse creatures than they already are. That means lots of playful gore, and some consumer satire as well; films like this need wit to thrive, and Andy Greskoviak’s script lands somewhere between 1978’s Dawn of the Dead and Chopping Mall, with lots of slimy effects and jump-scare demises.
Black Friday aspires to be nothing more than 90 minutes of fun for horror fans, and even if it’s not a game-changer, it’s hard to argue that it doesn’t work. Campbell is the draw, but the rest of Black Friday doesn’t let him down; this is a proper guilty pleasure, a zesty, energetic romp that never takes itself seriously for a moment, and that’s for the best. Campbell also executive produces, and uses his decades of horror experience to give his legions of fans exactly the kind of fun ride they’d hope for.
Signature Entertainment presents Black Friday on UK Digital Platforms 11th February 2022.